When Jennifer Sarkilahti started handcrafting jewelry in her small New York apartment it was purely as a creative outlet. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of the city, she began selling a few pieces online and Odette New York was born. For Sarkilahti, the real challenge wasn’t finding a market for her jewelry, it was finding a way to stay connected to the creative process even as the business grew. Office 365 played a key role in their evolution, adapting to the unique needs of their artistic business.
Staying small as a growth strategy
When it came to the growth strategy of the business, Sarkilahti was adamant about not getting too big, too fast. Keeping things local allowed her to stay connected to both the creative process and her manufacturing partners. “As a business, we value that we are able to make our product locally and take a slower, more thoughtful approach to manufacturing. Although the costs are higher to produce domestically, we can maintain a connection to the jewelry and the people that have a hand in making it throughout the entire process,” says Sarkilahti.
An intuitive software solution
Sarkilahti readily admits that technology doesn’t come as naturally to her as the artistic process, and credits Office 365 for helping her keep the business running smoothly while she focuses on the creative side of things. Sarkilahti states, “I’ve found the Office 365 products to be intuitive and easy to learn, as well as capable of adapting to whatever our needs of the moment might be. We use Excel and Outlook to help us create an efficient workflow process within our studio and communicate with people outside our studio, including vendors, retailers and customers. And on the creative side, we use PowerPoint to create mood boards for new collections, photoshoots and look books.”
Their slower approach to growth is certainly paying off. Odette New York currently has over 70 accounts, including both domestic and international retailers, and has been featured in major publications such as Vogue and Elle. Perhaps more importantly, Sarkilahti spends her days doing what she loves most—creating beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in her stunning Brooklyn studio.